LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs escaped with a win in game one of their series with the Detroit Pistons. Although a competitive game, a comment made by Pistons’ head coach, Stan Van Gundy, in between quarters, has raised some questions.
Van Gundy said, “A couple calls have upset our guys. They’ve got to understand, LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him. He gets to do whatever he wants. They’ve got to understand that.” He downplayed his comment after the game by saying he thought it “evened out really well,” but the concerns about refs giving star treatment is still out there.
As sports fans, we see this all the time with certain players getting the benefit of the doubt on a call or veterans getting refs to side with them over rookies. This form of favoritism has become accepted and everyone has had to deal with it. However, shouldn’t refs call the game like they see it, regardless of a player’s status in the league?
Unfortunately, this type of thinking seeps into other areas of life. Celebrities, politicians, and people with higher social status seem to play by different rules than the rest of us. They appear to be given the benefit of the doubt in many questionable circumstances.
Even beyond that, the way we treat people or love others often times seems to be based on status, job title, net worth, or some other cultural standard. We go out of our way for someone we think is important. An actor will get better service at a restaurant or a wealthy businessman will be moved to the front of a line at an event.
Sadly, this type of partiality is also revealed within the church. But the Bible speaks against it in James 2:1-4;8-9…
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
As followers of Jesus, let’s be encouraged to love people, period. Let’s treat others with respect, regardless of their status or their title. Let’s see beyond the social constructs and recognize the way God loves us all and cares about our hearts…not our fame. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for showing favoritism toward certain people and discounting others based on status or title. Help me to love people the way You do, and look beyond the surface. Show me how to love others in a way that brings glory and honor to You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.